Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Full Page of "Trump's Lies"

The New York Times used a full page to print ‘Trump’s lies’ since taking office, a summary being reported by BusinessInsider.com. Here’s a photo of what that looks like tweeted by one of the authors of the Times page. And here is the Times’ interactive graphic version of Trump’s Lies by the authors, David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson. They say: “Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

The [full page] list above uses the conservative standard of demonstrably false statements. By that standard, Trump told a public lie on at least 20 of his first 40 days as president. But based on a broader standard — one that includes his many misleading statements (like exaggerating military spending in the Middle East) — Trump achieved something remarkable: He said something untrue, in public, every day for the first 40 days of his presidency. The streak didn’t end until March 1.

Since then, he has said something untrue on at least 74 of 113 days. On days without an untrue statement, he is often absent from Twitter, vacationing at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, or busy golfing.

By my count, the Times report documents 100 lies (and there are probably more given the conservative criteria) during the 152 days in office covered in the Times’ analysis. So at a minimum the chance of Trump telling a lie on any given day is 65.8%.

That percentage comes very close to the 70% chance of any of Trump’s assertions being false. (See my posts here and here from last August on the relative honesty of Hillary Clinton - 71% true statements -vs. the relative dishonesty of Trump - 70% false statements.)

There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.

What could possibly be more egregious than becoming numb to Trump’s lies? It may be that many of his supporters simply do not care about - or are incapable of - distinguishing what is true from what is not.

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